Has your beloved writer friend/spouse/relative, gotten tired of that bookstore gift card yet? What about all those blank journals you’ve been buying them? Or those fantastic pens? While they are never bad things, there are certainly some better options out there. And while foregoing a ‘tried and true’ can be unnerving, here are 10 gifts you can be sure they’ll use.
Keurig Coffee Maker: This little gem rocks my socks off. I can’t tell you how many times my coffee, before the dawn of this genius invention, got cold from sitting in the pot. Most coffee makers these days have an auto-shut off; which if your writer is in the middle of a session that time will have run out and then some, by their second or third cup. Yeah, they make stainless steel carafes and what not, but why wouldn’t you want all of the options that come with a one cup wonder like this? Your writer can move from dark roast to decaf with the flick of a wrist and the touch of a button.
Writer’s Aid Kit: This is going to take a bit of effort, but you’ll reap the rewards for much longer than the time it’ll take to throw this kit together. Writers, like sports players, have odd ailments. Achy hands and wrists from typing and jotting notes; lower back aches and headaches, not to mention neck pain and a sore rear end. So, what do you put in a Writer’s Aid Kit? Here are some, unique—but well worth it, ideas:
- Arthritis Cream: No, I’m not kidding. Just ask the writer how their hands feel after a long session.
- Heating Pad: For back pain.
- Icy Hot: Again, no I’m not kidding. This stuff is fantastic for weird muscle pain (ask the writer—you’ve got muscles you wouldn’t imagine having an ache in until you’ve sat in one position for nine hours solid).
- Tylenol and Advil: Headaches, and of course all of those other aches I’ve been whining about.
- Candle: Check with them on which scent is appropriate. Invest in a good, high quality, candle that will last. Woodwick and Yankee are personal favorites of mine.
- Gel Cushion: Imagine this as the gel bicycle seat for novelists. Biking in a marathon isn’t too different than writing a marathon session. You can find these in different materials and shapes: Check Sharper Image, Brookstone or even Ebay.
- Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul
- Chocolate: You didn’t think I’d leave this out, did you?
- Microwavable Neck Pillow (rice or bean filled): These may come in different scents or totally scent-less. You’ll need to check with your writer to see if they are sensitive to certain smells or not. Ideally, look for one that can be micro-waved for heat or placed in the freezer.
- Eye Drops: Looking at a computer screen for hours on end will dry out most anyone’s eyes.
- A Million Dollars: Sorry, just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention, though if you’ve got a few million hanging around…
- Slippers and Loungewear: Throw in some comfy slippers and a lounge outfit, maybe yoga pants and a sweatshirt—or if your writer is a bit more on the classy side, you can go with a sweater/leggings combination (check http://www.shopreddress.com). Remember every writer is different. If your writer is a guy, look into a smoking jacket and some moccasin slippers?
- As a tip here, you may want to place these items in a basket, book tote or even in a nice box. If you have the funds, you can make the basket itself part of the gift by investing a little into it. Longaberger baskets, made in Dresden Ohio, are well made, heirloom quality baskets that anyone would love.
A Weekend or Week of Solitude: This may very well be the most wonderful thing my husband has ever done for me. He sent me off for a 5 day stay, to Callaway Gardens Spa, in Pine Mountain, Georgia. It was wonderful and worthy of an entire blog post on its own. This may be especially poignant if your writer is a parent. The basic idea is to give them more than a few minutes on their own, uninterrupted.
Massaging Back-Rest: You can find these everywhere now, but one of the best ones can be found at Brookstone. It has an LED reading light and plugs in for heat and massage. It comes complete with side pockets and a cup rest. Now, if it would just finish writing my novel…
Writer Inspired Jewelry: Not that we need reminding that we work for nearly pennies on the hour, but there are some really fantastic ways to commemorate the calling. I’ve found everything from charm bracelets on ebay, to quill ink pen necklaces. Just type those three little words in google and hang on.
Levenger: And I mean, anything, from Levenger. They have bookends, lap desks, and kitchen sinks…ok, not that last bit, but you get my point. They carry EVERYTHING a writer covets.
A Shadow Box: What? You know how good your writer is, how talented they are. They need to be reminded and nothing tells them how much faith you have in their work, than by buying a shadow box for their acceptance letter…because it IS coming.
New Music: Do they have an ipod? Or Mp3 player? Then buy them a gift card for iTunes or whatever site they frequent.
Wine and Such: So maybe your author isn’t a coffee fan. If this is the case (or they like both, like me) then invest in a nice bottle of wine and a set of glasses. Or, even better, buy a REALLY nice bottle of wine in anticipation of their impending ‘publication’ and tell them it is for that specific occasion. This might pair nicely with that shadow box I mentioned.
The Amazon Kindle: What’s the best part about this electronic diamond? The writer can read their own stuff on it. AWESOME. That way, the next time someone asks them on the commute home, “What are you reading?” They can say with no little enthusiasm. “Me!”
Here are some great places to start looking for those gifts:
http://www.shopreddress.com (For that sweater I was talking about!)